With only 63 MLB games under his belt, Sean Murphy’s manager already sees where the future is headed.
“He came a long way in a short period of time,” A's manager Bob Melvin told NBC Sports California. “I really believe the next stop is All-Star.”
Murphy made 43 appearances in 2020, hit seven homers, and finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.
But watching the backstop operate on a regular basis, numbers didn’t even tell his whole story.
“It’s just leadership qualities you can’t put a metric on,” Melvin said of Murphy. “Knowing the league a little bit more, he’s really into the analytics portion of it too. Far as scouting reports, and attacking hitters, and understanding what pitchers’ strengths are.”
While a 60-game regular season in 2020 wasn’t optimal for many players, Melvin said Murphy might have benefitted from it more than most. It was the opportunity to continue recovering from a knee injury without playing a full 162, but also proving he could play four or five days in a row with no issues.
Another evident asset of Murphy this summer was his relationship with the pitching staff. He was routinely praised by hurlers in post-game media sessions, and rarely shaken-off by them during game situations.
“That shows up pretty quickly when you invest yourself, mostly in the team and in the pitchers, more so than yourself and offensive numbers,” said Melvin.
“He’s the total package.”